It may seem like a daunting task to decide what robotic pool cleaner to buy, but when you break it down, it’s really pretty simple. In sum we like to look at it in three simple steps 1,2,3…
Step one: What type of pool do you have?
Step two: What do you want, or maybe better said what do you need the cleaner to do?
Step three: What features or options are important and why?
Let’s start with the easiest question first – What type of pool do you have?
Most cleaners today can handle any pool surface, but if you happen to have very slippery tile of a fiberglass pool, you will want to find a cleaner with a soft super grip PVA brush. All other surfaces are fine with wheeled or universal rubber PVC brushes
The key here is each robotic pool cleaner comes with a fixed cable length. You will need a cleaner with enough cable to reach the furthest point from the side of the pool where the power supply will rest. Note: the Power Supply must be 12 foot from the pool edge. And don’t forget the pool depth or if it’s an above-ground pool both the height and depth. Tip: If the cleaner has extra cable, that’s okay just do not place the extra in the pool as it may cause tangling
Next up is what do you want to the cleaner to do:
Again this is easy: In sum there are cleaners that fall into the following categories:
Cleaners that simply vacuum the pool floor,
Some of these robotic pool cleaners have fixed brushes some have active rotating brushes – Note: Added features typically mean added costs.
Robotic Pool Cleaners that clean pool floors, cove and the lower or partial wall
Most of these cleaners have active scrubbing brushes that help them climb and also aid in cleaning.
And Cleaners that clean the pool floor, cove, wall and waterline
These robotic pool cleaners are typically the most advanced cleaners that come with additional features. It is important to note that the majority of debris does eventually float to the bottom
As stated the lower priced models typically offer simple vacuum and or vacuum and fixed brush cleaning and that may be perfect for most above-ground or small in-ground pools. These cleaners are sometimes called Jets. They have less moving parts and require less maintenance. More advanced robotics, climb and scrub with some adding Power Washing Jets that help the unit clean the hard to reach crevices often found in Gunite pools – more on that in the features section
Last up is features, brands & the bells & whistles:
Don’t get confused here, as there are indeed a ton of available options that mostly fall in the want vs. need area. We will try and focus on the need!
This is typically stated in Gallons Per Minute or just GPM. Here we recommend you stay above 70 GPM for adequate suction – after all, this is want you are really buying the cleaner for!
This was a huge problem for years and now by far the best solve is the mechanical swivel , one that is physically found on the cable. While some technical advances like the gyro systems also help prevent tangling, these advances are still in their development stage and work best on the top end models that feature dual drive motor systems.
The lower the micron value the better. With low micron filter bags or baskets the robotic cleaner can clean and even help purify, polish and even disinfect the water. The best cleaners claim filtration down to 2 microns. Also most newer units have easy to clean top access filtration systems, but top or bottom, it’s most important to seek the micron number. Don’t be fooled with generic terms like fine or mesh.
Power Washing Jets:
This is an option on select units, Power Washing Jets are ideal for pools with fine silt, sand or dirt particles. They Hydro-scrub pool surfaces to clean where standard brushes can’t reach, to help vacuum the finest of particles more efficiently
Brand, Warranty and Service:
Key here is finding the trusted company to a) build the best reliable bot and b) stand behind the cleaner. Please use caution with the cheaper imports. Our recommendation here is clearly biased Aqua Products and our brand Aquabot – And we state this with pride and enthusiasm. We are the category originators, launching the 1st Aquabot in 1982 and we continuously lead the industry in both innovation and quality advancements. We stand behind our products with a minimum of a at least one full year of bumper to bumper warranty coverage. We also have over 120 certified service centers around the US to help if something should happen or go wrong.
Bells and Whistles: You can look for bot caddies, power supplies that offer additional programming or even faster or more advanced promises. These decisions are less stressful and much more convenience oriented, that we feel are best decided by each buyers own value equation.